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Sweet tax hike cancelled as government relents

The government has decided to cancel a planned rise in taxes on confectionery in what it says is an effort to protect the Finnish sweet industry-if not Finnish waistlines.

Irtokarkkeja kaupan hyllyssä.
The sweet tax levied on confectionery, ice cream and sugary soft drinks will not be raised as planned. Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

The government's planned austerity package got a little lighter today as the Finance Ministry announced it will not after all try to raise 50 million euros with a  bump in the tax levied on sugary sweets, snacks, soft drinks and ice cream.

In the background is an EU Commission effort to decide how different sugary snacks should be treated by tax authorities. From 2017 manufacturers will have to notify tax authorities about the sugar content of their products.

The Finnish Finance Ministry will look again at the sweet tax rise when that duty comes into force. The recent budget sought to gather some 370 million euros of extra revenue by tightening taxes on electricity, tobacco, sweets and fuel-that package is now some 50 million euros lighter.

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